City: Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Nippon Budokan
Date: May 1, 1975

Setlist:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, Great King Rat, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Hangman, Doing All Right, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Big Spender, Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll, Jailhouse Rock, See What A Fool I've Been, God Save The Queen


                   
   

This is the last concert of the Sheer Heart Attack tour, and the performance is incredible. The show can be seen as a culmination of early Queen, as the band would move into their next epoch and mature in many ways with the creation and success of A Night At The Opera.

Like last night, Great King Rat is heard in place of Father To Son. But for the last night's sake, they also play the rarely-heard non-album track Hangman - its first performance since 1973.

Queen perform nearly every song with unique embellishments tonight. Brian plays a daringly long and creative guitar solo in Son And Daughter (including part of the traditional Japanese folk song "Sakura", something which he'd often play in Japan over the years), and they turn in an extra long version of Liar.

Freddie gets very enthusiastic after Son And Daughter. "And now this is where you join in with us. You can clap your hands to this next number. We'd like you especially to join in. You can stand up if you'd like, you can stamp your feet, you can have a good time! This is called Keep Yourself Alive!"

As seen in the last couple pictures, the band came on for the encore dressed in kimonos. With this gesture, the band somehow manage to turn up the excitement of the already ecstatic audience a notch. They finish up with the B-side See What A Fool I've Been, bringing their first Japanese tour to a close.

Japan is the first country to hail Queen as superstars, making this tour a massive success. All of the band's albums and singles have sold very well up to this point, and all four band members had been consistently voted the top musicians in their respective fields in Music Life, Japan's biggest music magazine.

This is the last time In The Lap Of The Gods would be performed. Tonight also marks the last time the full version of Great King Rat would be heard live. It would be revived, albeit in much shorter form, in 1984.

During the frantic section of Ogre Battle, the band had been using a sample of the screams from the Queen II album when playing the song live. This is the last time they'd do so on a regular basis, but it would still be used a couple times in Japan the following year.

The pictures seen above, submitted by Lamberto, are from a 1975 Japanese booklet commemorating Queen's first tour of the country. They were taken by Koh Hasebe, who took most of the band's promo photos in Japan during this period. The colour photos are from this final night (as is eleventh picture, submitted by Alessio Rizzitelli), but the last row of black and white ones may be from one of the other concerts.

One notable thing about these early Japanese shows is that Freddie is just learning how to communinicate with larger audiences, but often with little success since most audience members didn't speak English. The fact that bands like The Beatles, Deep Purple, Queen, and Cheap Trick were so successful in a country where most of their fans couldn't understand a word of their music goes to show how powerful music is in its ability to transcend cultural barriers. Japan has become more Anglicized in recent years, so this observation really is a snapshot of history.

The show was filmed, and three songs were soon broadcast on TV.


Recording length: 20 minutes, incomplete
Video/Audio quality: A / A-
Source: Pro video
Lineage: "Days Of Our Lives" UK blu-ray release

       
Track listing:
Now I'm Here, Killer Queen, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited


These three songs were broadcast on TV not long after the show, along with some press conference footage and shots of the boys having a picnic with a few locals. The concert footage was previously attributed to the April 19 show, as it was labeled as such on The Magic Years documentary released on VHS in 1987. But upon closer examination, these three songs are definitely from May 1. Some of the footage of Now I'm Here was broadcast again on Japanese TV in 2004 in a documentary on the band called "The Jewels."

On both documentaries, part of the audio of Now I'm Here is actually from London '74, a choice made by the compilers of the former probably because the audio quality on the Japanese footage was poor (by broadcast standards, anyway). The best audience recording actually sounds much better than this audio.

After decades of VHS copies from TV in varying quality floated around, this footage was finally seen in high quality in its entirety on the extras of the Japanese blu-ray release of the "Days Of Our Lives" documentary in 2011. An abbreviated version was seen on the UK blu-ray, with Now I'm Here being the only (almost) complete song.

The footage was also included on the 2015 "A Night At The Odeon" DVD/blu-ray release of the famous Christmas Eve 1975 show.


Recording length: 4 minutes, incomplete
Video quality: A
Source: Pro video
Lineage: "Stormtroopers in Stilettoes" exhibition

       
Track listing:
In The Lap Of The Gods [cut], Son And Daughter [cut], Keep Yourself Alive [cut], Stone Cold Crazy [cut], Liar [cut]


There has been much speculation as to whether or not the remaining footage of the show still exists, and the suspicions were confirmed when more footage from this show was aired at the "Stormtroopers in Stilettoes" Queen exhibition in London in early 2011. The footage is very fragmentary, and some of the camera angles aren't great since it was filmed from below the stage. Some pieces of the footage are seen more than once from different angles, which likely means it doesn't have accompanying audio (the audio at the exhibition was the studio version of The March Of The Black Queen).


Recording length: 1 minute, incomplete
Video quality: A
Source: Pro video
Lineage: "Killer Queen" documentary

       
Track listing:
Son And Daughter [cut]


A few seconds of this alternate silent footage were first seen in a 2002 documentary called Killer Queen (for some reason it was incorrectly attributed to a 1973 show at first) aired by an independent network called "Granada TV" on channel 4.

The first snippet is from the beginning of Son And Daughter, and the second one is from Freddie's classic intro to Keep Yourself Alive (from one of two angles seen in the four minutes of footage detailed above).


Recording length: ?
Quality: ?
Source: ?
Lineage: "Live In Japan" acetate

   
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, Great King Rat, White Queen, Doing All Right, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter


This extremely rare acetate was one of the first Queen bootlegs ever to be released.

There are seven known audience sources from this show, and it's uncertain if this is one of the existing sources or an entirely different one.


Recording length: 39 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Kimono My Place Live" LP

 
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Great King Rat, Killer Queen, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Hangman, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, See What A Fool I've Been, God Save The Queen


Six of the seven audience sources from this show have been bootlegged. This short recording came out in 1976.

The track listed as "Shag Out" is just the last segment of Hangman (although Freddie shouted those words later in the show, during his vocal exchange with the audience in Liar). The uncut tape of this source has never seen the light of day.

This was the best-sounding recording of the show available for decades, until the Tarantura bootleg was released in 2007. It's one of the few Japanese recordings where the audience rarely drowns out the music, if at all.

Some collectors have referred to this bootleg as "Out Now" since that text is larger than the bootleg's actual title on the cover.


Recording length: 39 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Stunning" LP

     
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Great King Rat, Killer Queen, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Hangman, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, See What A Fool I've Been, God Save The Queen


This is a 1979 re-release of "Kimono My Place Live" in worse quality. The first issue had a front and back cover, and the later reissues had the cheaper covers with the insert glued on.


Recording length: 117 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: "First Live Attack" (Private Masters) silvers

       
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, Great King Rat, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Hangman, Doing All Right, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Big Spender, Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll, Jailhouse Rock, See What A Fool I've Been, God Save The Queen


This second audience source was released in 2000, the first release of the complete show (minus most of the cheering between encores).

The bootleg included a reproduction of the concert ticket.


Recording length: 119 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > ? > CDR (x)
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, Great King Rat, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Hangman, Doing All Right, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Big Spender, Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll, Jailhouse Rock, See What A Fool I've Been, God Save The Queen


This (as of yet unbootlegged) third source is missing most of the cheering after Gods Revisited. The quality drops a bit for the encores.


Recording length: 120 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Killing Me Softly" (Wardour) silvers

     
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, Great King Rat, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Hangman, Doing All Right, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Big Spender, Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll, Jailhouse Rock, See What A Fool I've Been, God Save The Queen


Wardour released a fourth audience source in 2004. The sound is well-balanced, and the audience doesn't obstruct the music too much.

This source is missing most of Now I'm Here and part of Ogre Battle, so the fine folks at Wardour seamlessly patched in the missing parts from the "First Live Attack" source. They did the same for the cut in the guitar solo.

It includes the cheering after Gods Revisited, but is missing most of the cheering after Jailhouse Rock.

Here's a link to the always-reliable GS review: http://www.collectorsmusicreviews.com


Recording length: 118 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: A-
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Young Nobles Of Rock" (Tarantura) silvers

 
 

 
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, Great King Rat, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Hangman, Doing All Right, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Big Spender, Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll, Jailhouse Rock, See What A Fool I've Been, God Save The Queen


This fifth source was released in August 2007, and is by far the best-sounding source from this show. This was a monumental release at the time because it contained the first version of Hangman in high quality. Essential listening.

It is musically complete, but there are three slight cuts - just after Son And Daughter, and before both encores. A great deal of compression has been added to the recording.

Due to the popularity of this show, three more editions of this bootleg have since been released, with different coloured artwork - in 2009, 2013, and 2017 respectively. Musically they are all identical.

Here's a link to the always-reliable GS review: http://www.collectorsmusicreviews.com


Recording length: 122 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "An Exceptional Legacy" (Wardour) silvers

     
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, Great King Rat, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Hangman, Doing All Right, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Big Spender, Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll, Jailhouse Rock, See What A Fool I've Been, God Save The Queen


Wardour released their second bootleg of this show in April 2012. It is a sixth audience source from the epic last night in Tokyo, and one of the better-sounding ones.

Here is a link to the GS review.


Recording length: 123 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "In The Land Of The Rising Sun" (Tarantura) silvers

 
Track listing:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, Great King Rat, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Hangman, Doing All Right, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Big Spender, Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll, Jailhouse Rock, See What A Fool I've Been, God Save The Queen


Tarantura released a seventh source of this show in 2017. The tape itself sounds very good, but the bootleggers crushed it with compression to the point of being a brick wall.

The recording is the most complete of all the sources, with all the cheering between encores intact.




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